FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Catherine Lu
(702) 486-6982 / 334-7953
(Carson City, NV; September 14, 2012) – The U.S. Department of Defense cut short a trip to the Middle East by Secretaries of State, following social unrest in several countries. Secretary of State Ross Miller returned to the United States today after touring military bases and meeting officials to gain first-hand knowledge of military and overseas voting issues.
“The attacks in Libya emphasize the importance of protecting democracy by ensuring our armed forces can easily vote in elections, a right they fight to preserve daily,” said Miller. “Their voices need to be heard on Election Day.”
With deadlines for registering and requesting an absentee ballot quickly approaching, Miller joins the Heroes Vote Initiative to promote National Military Voter Readiness Day. The observance on September 15, 2012 raises awareness among and helps prepare military members, their spouses and dependents for the upcoming election.
The deadline to register online at www.registertovotenv.gov is October 6. To vote by absentee ballot, registered individuals must request one from their County Clerk or Registrar of Voters by October 30. Military members and overseas citizens can request an absentee ballot by completing and submitting a Federal Post Card Application due October 30.
Military Voter Readiness Day not only raises awareness about the importance of voting, it also provides military members with the necessary tools to register and request an absentee ballot. Such tools include on-base registration drives and a web-based application to register and request an absentee ballot in six easy steps. That web-based application is available at www.HeroesVote.org.
For more information about military and overseas voting, visit the Election Center on the Secretary of State’s website at www.nvsos.gov, or by clicking here.
“We are proud to work with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office to make sure that our service members are election ready for November,” said Eric Eversole, founder and executive director of the Military Voter Protection Project. “They have shown a tremendous dedication to our troops and that will make a big difference in November and beyond.”
Miller traveled to the Middle East this week to gain first-hand knowledge of military and overseas voting issues on a trip sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program. He and fellow Secretaries of State first stopped in Kuwait to meet with U.S. Ambassador Matthew Tueller and U.S. Embassy staff, where they held extensive meetings to discuss voter outreach efforts for U.S. citizens living abroad and collaboration to resolve barriers to voting. Military leadership briefed the secretaries on the U.S. Army Central voting assistant program at the Third Army war room. The program is in place to ensure successful absentee voting during the election year. The secretaries also met with assigned officer at military installations to resolve any outstanding issues. The stop also included a tour and an extensive presentation at the U.S. Army Post Office to learn how military ballots are processed and transported.
Following Kuwait, the Secretaries of State toured Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar, where they received a briefing regarding the Combined Air Operations Center voting assistance program, met with the Qatar Embassy regarding voter outreach, lunched with constituents, and toured the military postal facilities. The Secretaries of State then traveled to Bahrain, where they met with the U.S. Ambassador and Embassy officials; admirals and voting assistance officers on a naval base; and constituents at the Sheik Isa Air Base.
As Nevada’s chief elections officer and president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Miller is strong advocate of changes to the state’s military and overseas voting laws to ensure all ballots are received on time and counted in elections. Miller worked with the Nevada Department of Veteran Services and local elections officials during the 2009 legislative session to pass Assembly Bill 41, which allows Nevada voters overseas to register to vote; request and submit absentee ballots electronically; and accepted language from the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.
The passage of MOVE Act in 2009 placed greater protections for services members and other overseas citizens by requiring elections officials to send absentee ballots to voters who submitted a request at least 45 days before the election.